Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2008's a year we'll never forget

Daily Mail
"Today, the entire British banking system is in crisis. The Exchequer faces an exposure of at least ten times what Northern Rock cost, and still counting.The British economy has entered a recession which threatens to prove the worst of modern times.Contrary to Gordon Brown's endlessly repeated deceits, this country is worse placed to weather the storm than any other major world economy, because as Chancellor he spent recklessly through the good times.The pound has fallen in value by more than a quarter against almost every other currency and is virtually equal with the much derided Euro.".....Just as we still have no idea how bad this recession could get, so the only certainty about the next General Election is that whoever wins it will inherit an empty Exchequer."
UK stocks suffer their worst drop since the year of the three-day week as the worst economic crisis in living memory shook the UK's economic foundations.(Telegraph)
Anger over knighthood given to Treasury chief, Nick Macpherson (The Times)

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Printing Money...

"An email arrived for me the other day from a businessman...
He talked of the suffocating pile of debt, the empty order books, the collapsed currency, the disincentive of penal taxation and excessive regulation all helping to prevent recovery. He forecast, with some justification, the transition of our economy into one akin to the Third World, where the printing of money (the only policy, if it can be dignified with that term, that Gordon Brown seems to have) leads to hyperinflation, and thence to failures of infrastructure, law and order and democracy ..."Yet for all his denial, the Prime Minister.....when, in short, the full extent of his economic disaster can no longer be obscured, and when the completely dishonest Mandelsonian line about it all being the fault of the Americans has been exposed, even to the most dimwitted of our fellow Britons, as being entirely bogus."
"The drastically weak pound is also driving up bills for imported goods, particularly for foreign food products, as well as for oil and petrol." (The Times)

Monday, 29 December 2008

Oil and the Dollar

"However, the Federal Reserve has slashed US interest rates and signalled that it could soon be printing money to try to stop the recession turning into a depression. Many analysts feel that this will be bearish for the dollar, and a dollar fall would once again boost the oil price."
Previous blog entry :
"....he now has one final, desperate roll of the
dice: to try to save the British economy by printing extra money.
Indeed, I can reveal that Bank of England officials are already
studying this option." (20/12/08)

Friday, 26 December 2008

The biggest slump in output since the aftermath of the Second World War could set Britain's economy back five years

Daily Mail
"But the CEBR's managing economist Ben Read said: 'Our emerging
central scenario suggests a contraction of 2.9 per cent, driven by a
steep fall in business investment of 20 per cent due to continued
restrictions on bank lending, as well as firms slashing budgets in
order to stay afloat.'This would be the biggest slump since 1946
when the UK was wrestling with the aftermath of the Second
World War and a freezing winter."
Britain's economy is heading for its worst year since the notorious post-war winter-torn 1947 recession, experts warned on Tuesday, as official figures shed light on the scale of the downturn.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Financial 2008

"While Gordon Brown has taken a lot of the credit for the UK banking bail-out, the deal was devised by a group of bankers. Among them was the Standard Chartered chief executive, who should be dining out on it for years to come".

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Voters revolt over taxes

"The survey suggests that David Cameron would win a huge majority if tax and spending became the key dividing line between the two main parties at the next general election"

"... asked how they would vote if the Tories committed themselves to a lower level of public spending than Labour and to try not to raise taxes – Mr Cameron's current policy – 49 per cent said Tory, 32 per cent Labour and 11 per cent the Liberal Democrats.

There was a similar result when people were asked how they would vote if Labour committed itself to higher public spending than the Tories and admitted it was likely to mean an increase in some personal taxes – Mr Brown's current position. The figures were: Tory 48 per cent, Labour 30 per cent, Liberal Democrats 13 per cent".

Monday, 22 December 2008

Britain's job 'bloodbath'

"Britain faces an unemployment "bloodbath" in the new year with many tens of thousands of jobs axed in the public and private sectors, according to a cabinet minister."
"The Federation of Small Businesses forecasts that 30,000 small firms could fold in 2009, with the loss of 160,000 jobs. Its spokesman, Stephen Alambritis, said: "It will be a very, very difficult year – there's a foreboding about February and March in particular."
"Sir John Gieve said the Bank's policy-makers were well aware that dramatic rises in the price of houses and other assets were unsustainable, but still underestimated the danger this posed to the long-term health of the economy."
"Sir John, who is charged with ensuring financial stability and was heavily criticised last year by the Treasury Select Committee for apparently failing to control the Northern Rock crisis, admitted that taxpayers may not get all their money back from the bail-out of the bank and other institutions."

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Darling's last roll of the dice and the spectre of wheelbarrows of banknotes

Daily Mail
"This week it became clear that both Alistair Darling and Gordon
Brown are beginning to lose control of the British economy.Their
attempt to end the crisis by bailing out the banks with £37 billion
of taxpayers’ money in October has failed."...."More terrifying still,
ministers have lost their grip of government finances.".........."As a
result, the Chancellor has lost almost all powers to recharge the
British economy — either through extra spending or through lower
interest rates.In this state of despair, and faced with a national debt
likely to rise rapidly, he now has one final, desperate roll of the
dice: to try to save the British economy by printing extra money.
Indeed, I can reveal that Bank of England officials are already
studying this option.Historically, it has been a sign of total
catastrophe when any government resorts to seeking financial
salvation through this disreputable method."
PS. "Britain no longer has any stake in the production
of its nuclear warheads after the Government
secretly sold off its shares in the Atomic Weapons
Establishment in Aldermaston."

Friday, 19 December 2008

Sterling slide is worst since 1931

"The pound has now fallen by 23pc against a basket of other currencies, according to figures from the Bank of England. The fall is sharper than the devaluations in 1992, after leaving the Exchange Rate Mechanism, 1976, when the International Monetary Fund was forced to intervene, and 1949, when a host of countries slumped against the dollar.The devaluation is only matched by the moment in 1931 when, under Ramsay MacDonald, the UK was forced to abandon the gold standard, plunging by more than 24pc against the dollar. "

Thursday, 18 December 2008

UK public finances slump to worst state in 15 years as borrowing soars

"The Government borrowed £16bn in November, the most since records began 15 years ago, underlining the dire state of the public finances as the economy enters recession."
"While alarmingly high, the government deficit projections contained in November's pre-Budget Report are already looking too low as the recession looks certain to be significantly deeper and longer than the government forecast," said Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
Holidays hit as pound sinks to a new all-time low against the euro
Mark O'Sullivan, dealing director at Currencies direct, said: 'This is likely to get worse as more investors lose confidence in the pound.' (Daily Mail)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Taxpayers face new pain as Gordon Brown's bank bail-out fails to stop credit crunch

"Taxpayers face paying billions of pounds more to prop up Britain's banks because Gordon Brown's bail-out has failed to stop the credit crunch, the Bank of England Governor has warned".
"Mr King's warning that the bail-out is not working is a blow for the Prime Minister, whose reputation has been boosted both at home and overseas after his bail-out scheme was adopted by a range of different countries around the world."
Must See : Fred Explains Bailout Economics
(Guido Blog)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Treasury's bank rescue plan is just not enough

"WHAT? "Additional measures"? So cutting interests to the lowest level since 1951, pouring billions into the banking system and slashing VAT was not enough?"

For anyone who thought its was Gordon Browns plan..... look at this
( appeared earlier in the blog, Oct.08)

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Just a reminder to everyone....

Official figures are only the tip of a terrifying iceberg of debt
"Take a look at this depiction of an iceberg. It provides a frightening illustration of just how much trouble we are in, and explains why the markets are in turmoil and the pound is in freefall as investors around the world lose confidence in Britain."
"There are a number of factors that Mr Brown conveniently ignores. For a start, public debt should include the Private Finance Initiative, Network Rail, the banking bail-out, the commitments that we took on when Bradford & Bingley was nationalised and future promises on public sector pensions (on all of which, more below).This comes to £2,366 billion. That's 157per cent of our GDP, a much less reassuring figure." (Daily Mail)

Friday, 12 December 2008

Germans turn the screw on Brown

The Independant
"Prime Minister stung by assault on Britain's reckless borrowing as sterling plunges to record low against euro"
"But Steffen Kampeter, the budget spokesman for Ms Merkel's Christian Democrats, said: "Peer Steinbr├╝ck's comments have nothing whatsoever to do with internal German politics as Prime Minister Brown has suggested."
Germany has dispelled the myth of British-EU unity
"The Prime Minister and his Chancellor have so far been given an extraordinarily easy ride for what amounts to one of the most stunning policy U-turns in a generation – and one that now threatens a collapse of sterling. The way in which Mr Steinbr├╝ck's words leapt into the British headlines, however, shows that he struck a chord."

Anglo-German political row's new peak as Brown branded 'complete failure'

"The row between Britain and Germany over the handling of the current economic crisis has reached a new peak, with a German politican calling Labour's policies "a complete failure". The comments were made by Christian Democrat Steffen Kampeter after Prime Minister Gordon Brown tried to pass off earlier criticism by finance minister Peer Steinbruck as a matter of internal German politics.Mr Kampeter, who is the budget spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said: "Peer Steinbruck's comments have nothing whatsoever to do with internal German politics."In questioning the British government's approach, Peet Steinbruck is exactly expressing the views of the German Grand Coalition."

Thursday, 11 December 2008

German Finance Minister spoils Gordon Brown's bid to save the world

"There is also strong evidence that Mr Brown was wrong to persuade other countries, notably, the Americans, to drop plans to buy up the 'toxic' debt of banks and to recapitalise them instead."
Sky News:
'Why Germans Rent And Brits Buy'
Sky News:
"Gordon Brown has dismissed a surprise attack on his economic rescue plan by the German finance minister as a matter of "internal German politics".
Daily Mail:
"Britain and Germany were locked in a full-blown diplomatic crisis today as Gordon Brown was forced to defend his economic masterplan from a surprise attack by the German finance minister".

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Gordon Brown must blame himself, not the USA

"Enough! It's time to put an end to Gordon Brown's ridiculous blame game. As the Prime Minister tells it, Britain's woes started in America.." "Unfortunately for Mr Brown, neither his claim – he told Parliament yesterday, "Not only have we saved the world", modestly eschewing the "I" word – nor his Macavity act can survive scrutiny. It is beyond question that Britain's problems stem in part from its fractured regulatory system, with responsibility split between the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority, and the Treasury. A close study of the relevant documents fails to reveal that this system was forced upon Brown by the US authorities. No, it sprang full blown from the brains of Chancellor Gordon Brown and his sidekick, Ed Balls".

The German finance minister has launched an outspoken attack on the UK government's plans to help pull Britain out of the economic downturn.


"In an unusual breach of standard diplomacy, Peer Steinbruck attacked the UK's decision to cut VAT and raise the national debt to record levels.Mr Steinbruck said the UK's switch from financial prudence to heavy borrowing was both "crass" and "breathtaking"."All this will do is raise Britain's debt to a level that will take a whole generation to work off."Saying the UK government was now "tossing around billions", Mr Steinbruck questioned why Britain was now closely following the high public spending model put forward by 20th Century economist John Maynard Keynes."The switch from decades of supply-side politics all the way to a crass Keynesianism is breathtaking," he said."When I ask about the origins of the [financial] crisis, economists I respect tell me it is the credit-financed growth of recent years and decades."Isn't this the same mistake everyone is suddenly making again, under all the public pressure?"

Gordon Brown saves the World!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

'Sir Ian, you have put the police in Labour's pocket': Britain's top Asian police officer reveals how Blair forced him out

Daily Mail:

"He was threatening my job because I had dared to put the needs of the police and public ahead of the wishes of the Government.I tried again to defend my position but he shouted me down with such contempt that I knew my future was in as much danger as the police's time-honoured independence from the State.Sadly the entanglement of the two has never been clearer than with the arrest last month of Conservative immigration spokesman Damian Green over leaked documents that embarrassed Downing Street, an act that has exposed the Met to intense scrutiny.As I walked out of Sir Ian's office I thought: 'This man has lost his marbles.' If it all hadn't been quite so serious, I would have felt sorry for him".

Culpability Brown

Culpability Brown

“Anyone looking for the G-20 to issue a mea culpa on the global financial crisis will be sadly disappointed,” said Kenneth S. Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard. The leaders “curiously downplay the huge culpability of the political leadership in the U.S. and Europe.”
Oct '08:
And it's why Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Chancellor, Alistair Darling, did not want to dwell Wednesday morning on how Britain's banking sector had got into such a parlous state that the government was compelled to spend up to $88 billion in taxpayers' money to secure it. Their emergency rescue plan was hatched over weeks but finalized in such a hurry that bleary officials labored overnight to finish it before the skittish markets opened. At a morning press conference, both men maintained that the problem started with the U.S. sub-prime crisis; Brown refused to answer questions about how Labour policy over more than 10 years in office might have contributed to the situation. "This is the time to talk about the future," he said.,8599,1848243,00.html

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Damian Green arrest was caused by Labour's abuse of Parliament

"When New Labour won in 1997, I don't think it wanted to undermine parliamentary democracy, but it harboured a destructive hatred for the institutions, conventions and traditions of this country. Now we see the bitter and oppressive results."
Speaker Michael Martin is a disgrace to his office amid Damian Green arrest scandal

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Pre-Budget report: Secret plan for VAT increase to 18.5 per cent


"Official documents show that Alistair Darling was originally planning to announce the £5 billion tax increase on Monday but the pre-Budget report was altered shortly before publication.

In the pre-Budget report, the Chancellor announced a 13-month cut in VAT from the current rate of 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent. The reduction is to be funded through a £12 billion increase in Government borrowing.

In January 2010, the rate of Vat will revert to 17.5 per cent. However, a legal document laid before Parliament states that VAT will "subsequently increase to 18.5 per cent in 2011-12". It is signed by Stephen Timms, a junior Treasury Minister"


Why Gordon Brown the manic meddler had to take such a massive gamble

Gordon Brown leads bankrupt Britain into the 1970s
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development expects economic recovery in the UK in 2010 to be much slower than the Chancellor Alistair Darling suggested in the pre-Budget report.
This isn't about saving Britain. It's simply about saving Gordon!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Cutting VAT by 2.5% would be logistical nightmare and won't make any difference, say retailers

Daily Mail

"The VAT reduction will come into effect on Monday and is due to last for 13 months before going back up again in January 2010.However, the change will have only a small effect on day to day living costs as the sales tax is not applied to essentials such as food.At the same time, the Chancellor moved to cancel out the benefit of VAT reductions on petrol, alcohol and tobacco by imposing punishing increases in other duties."

Brown kills off speculation of early General Election after Tories take 11% lead

Daily Mail
"The prospect of a speedy election was further dampened by a poll which gave the Conservatives an 11 per cent lead over Labour despite recent surveys suggesting the gap had narrowed to as little as three points."

Labour's decade of high employment was propped up by public sector jobs boom, claims study

Daily Mail

"A boom in public sector jobs has propped up employment levels under Labour, according to research today.

The study by The Financial Times found that two out of three jobs created since 1998 were in economic sectors dominated by public services, raising fears that private sector firms may be less resilient to a recession than previously thought. "

George Osborne trashes Alistair Darling's Pre-Election Report


"Now we know Labour's recipe for dealing with a recession: increase national insurance contributions by 0.5%, at a cost of £4 billion to the very people who are expected to dig their way out of the crisis. As Osborne pointed out, that will add £100 million to the NHS wages bill. Then there was the classically tokenist 45% tax rate for "fat cats" earning over £150,000 - despite warnings from economists it will raise virtually zero revenue, damage GDP and cost 35,000 jobs.

The declared intent to increase total public sector debt to 57% of GDP by 2013 and raise the national debt to £1 trillion, when viewed in detachment, is an act of insanity. More than half of that - £518 million, if one accepts the usual Brownite over-optimistic growth forecasts (2% growth in 2010 - I don't think so!) - will come from today's announcements.

But, of course, the crisis Darling was addressing was not the recession, but the next general election. Osborne put his finger on it when he asked why 2011 had been selected as the date when the fiscal pain would start to afflict the nation. The transparent ploy is to give away £20 billion before the election and claw back £40 billion immediately after.

Darling's attempt to blame America for Britain's problems was pathetic: our recession is forecast to be much more severe than that of all the other major economies and the author of that disaster was sitting next to the Chancellor. Remember him standing at that same despatch box, six years ago, and disbursing £60 billion of taxpayers' money to the undeserving client state."

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Alistair Darling - you'll make things even worse

"Unemployment is at an 11-year peak. Confidence has not merely evaporated: it has been replaced by fear. And I have yet to speak to anyone in the financial world who imagines things can do anything except get worse."
"We shall watch Mr Darling on Monday to see whether he recognises that Labour's gravity-defying economic behaviour has to stop. I am not hopeful. If he doesn't cotton on, prepare to emigrate. As the song didn't go, things can only get worse.
The Prince of Darkness - and what price an early election?
"It is hard to exaggerate the scale of the economic crisis that is set to hit Britain next year, and the terrible pain it will bring."
"Ultimately, voters will realise that it was neither David Cameron nor George Osborne who got us into this mess. The architect of the economic disaster that Britain faces next year was Gordon Brown.
We said that the bail-out would fail (Telegraph)
"We tried to warn you. We said that the bail-out would fail. We pointed out that nationalisation never worked. We predicted that the seizure of the banks would be accompanied by heavy-handed state intervention in their procedures.
Gordon Brown is considering a 4 June election, despite his denial
"One thing we can say for certain, though: he is plainly considering the idea."

Friday, 21 November 2008

Another £3bn at risk in Northern Rock

"Another £3bn of taxpayer money has been put at risk in Northern Rock after the nationalised lender's off-balance sheet funding vehicle, Granite, was put in to run-off yesterday. "
"The "non-asset trigger event" means that roughly £3bn of taxpayer funds have been seized by Granite and will only be released once all the bondholders are paid back. One senior banker estimated that, at the current rate of repayment, the Government will not be able to recover the money until 2015 at the earliest."
When money is tight, people spend less. Are you listening, Mr Darling?
"Debt is at the root of our crisis. We did not arrive at this bad place because consumers and government were saving too much and spending too little. We will not escape it by carrying on as we did before. There will be no foundation for a lasting recovery until Britain rediscovers the virtue of living within its means."

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Darling-Brown spending row set to intensify as government borrowing soars in worst October for 14 years

Daily Mail

"The spending row between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor is set to intensify today after it was revealed government had to borrow more than it repaid for the first time in 14 years last month.

The public sector borrowed a net £1.4 billion last month - compared with a net repayment of £1.8 billion a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS)."

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Immigration influx last year was second highest on record as 500,000 foreigners make Britain home

Daily Mail

"More than half a million foreigners moved to Britain last year, pushing migration to its second highest level on record.A massive 577,000 people moved to live here in 2007. Of those just 75,000 were Britons returning from overseas, according to new Government figures.The remaining 87 per cent or 502,000 were foreign nationals seeking a new life on British shores."


Consumer Price Decline Prompts Fear of Deflation in the United States
"In another sign that the struggling economy continues to slow, consumer prices tumbled by a record amount in October....A continued decline in prices could worsen the economic slowdown by making it harder to pay off debts and would negate the impact of interest-rate cuts"
UK take note - it could happen here too. (New York Times)

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Millions of illegal immigrants could be in the UK after a visa watchdog revealed 300,000 people are allowed in every year who should not be.

"In a staggering admission, Linda Costelloe-Baker, who monitors visa refusals, told MPs around 15 per cent of short-term visas are wrongly approved because it is easier to let them in than reject applications. "

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Gulf stocks plunge as G20 fails to halt panic

Yahoo News

"Stock markets in the Gulf states plunged on the week's opener Sunday as panic from the fallout of the global economic crisis continued to dampen investor sentiment.

The slump came despite the approval by leaders of the G20 nations of an action plan on Saturday to restore global growth and prevent future financial upheaval while promising new spending plans and a set of reforms."

World Leaders Vow Joint Push to Aid Economy

New York Times:
"WASHINGTON — Facing the gravest economic crisis in decades, the leaders of 20 countries agreed Saturday to work together to revive their economies, but they put off thornier decisions about how to overhaul financial regulations until next year, providing a serious early challenge for the Obama administration."
"Despite broad support for economic stimulus, the leaders were not able to agree on a coordinated global effort. "

Still, for all the talk of action and history-making change, some experts said the outcome was disappointing.

This is plain-vanilla stuff they could have agreed on without holding a meeting,” said Simon Johnson, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. “What’s new, except that this is the G-20 instead of the G-7?”

“Anyone looking for the G-20 to issue a mea culpa on the global financial crisis will be sadly disappointed,” said Kenneth S. Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard. The leaders “curiously downplay the huge culpability of the political leadership in the U.S. and Europe.”
U.S. Shifts Focus in Credit Bailout to the Consumer
New York Times (12th November)
"WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department on Wednesday officially abandoned the original strategy behind its $700 billion effort to rescue the financial system..."

'Dynamic provisioning' (BBC)

"Spain's system has attracted a lot of interest.

In effect, it requires banks to build up a financial cushion in the good years which can help them absorb losses in the bad times when increasing numbers of borrowers fail to repay.

The basic principle is not exactly financial rocket science, although the name it has - dynamic provisioning - makes sound as though it is."

Gordon Brown is planning a ‘Christmas bonus’ for taxpayers in an attempt to kick-start the flagging economy.
Daily Mail

"The Prime Minister, who is attending the G20 Summit of the world’s leading economic powers, is keen to present himself as the central figure in international efforts to deal with the credit crunch.

"Although he refused to put a figure on the size of the handout – which is likely to be delivered in tax credits or winter fuel payments – he acknowledged ‘a general view was emerging’ that the Government should plough up to two per cent of economic output into measures to combat the slump.

That would mean spending up to £30billion.."

But these efforts have been driven by tensions. At home, the Treasury has counselled caution about ramping up borrowing to pay for a spending boom, while abroad the summit has revealed governments are reluctant to respond to Mr Brown’s call to co-ordinate his tax cuts.

Some Tories claimed last night that the handouts could mean higher taxes for middle-class families later on."

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Gordon Brown risks run on the pound, says George Osborne

The Times:

"The Shadow Chancellor’s warning of dangers to the pound came as sterling remained under intense pressure on currency markets.

The pound yesterday slipped to a 13-year low against a basket of other currencies. The dollar rate fell to below $1.48 and the euro rate to €1.17, a record low, capping its biggest weekly fall against the single currency."

Friday, 14 November 2008

Perils of Deflation

Daily Mail

"The Bank of England yesterday warned there is a 20 per cent chance the UK could spiral into deflation in 2010. Deflation is the inverse of inflation, and is seen as one of the worst economic diseases a country can catch.It involves a massive squeeze on lending, which leads to sustained falls in prices on the High Street.The costs of food, clothing, cars, electronic goods, and services plummet as companies are forced to repeatedly slash prices. This can drive thousands of firms out of business and send unemployment to stratospheric levels.For those with large debts, the consequences are disastrous. During inflation, debts become easier to service over time as the value of money is eroded.But with deflation the opposite happens, resulting in rocketing debt defaults and more trouble for the banking sector.This last struck the U.S. and European economies during the Great Depression of the 1930s."
The economic benefits from record levels of immigration to Britain are 'small and close to zero', the Lords was told today.(Daily Mail)

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Britain is on the brink of 'meltdown'

"The former Chancellor said Gordon Brown has received undue credit for his role in attempting to shore up the global economy. "The idea that Gordon has saved the world is not true," he said. "We still have a major, major crisis in this country and... public finances are in a terrible mess".

New York Times (6th)
“The contrast with the Bank of England here is extraordinary,” said Jacques Cailloux, chief Europe economist at Royal Bank of Scotland in London. “To some extent, the British have simply adopted the Fed’s approach.

Daily Mail
"Any tax cuts by Gordon Brown to beat the recession will be short-lived, a Cabinet minister admitted yesterday. "

Return of the dole queue- unemployment heads for 3m

Vicky Redwood, from Capital Economics, said today's figures were only the 'tip of the iceberg' because the labour market lags behind the economy by several months.

'We have not seen the full effect of the recent slowdown in the economy, let alone the full force of the recession,' she said.

'Much worse is to come - we expect unemployment to peak in 2010 at around 3.3 million.'

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Cross Party Group calls for immigration system to be toughened up

"Ahead of Wednesday’s unemployment figures, the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration has published new research which shows that last year thousands of jobs went to economic migrants from outside the European Union – and not a single one of those jobs had to be advertised in the UK first. The Co-Chairmen of the Cross Party Group have written to the Home Secretary, asking her to ensure that all UK jobs are properly advertised in the UK, and to suspend Tier One of the new Points Based System, under which migrant workers are able to come to the UK without any job to go to."

Monday, 10 November 2008

How Britain should tackle its recession

Financial Times:
"As heads of government gather this week at US president George W. Bush’s invitation to discuss the economic crisis, I am sure all will agree that greater international co-operation is needed. What we require is positive action to address the world economic downturn and new architecture to ensure future global imbalances are better managed. Also needed is greater understanding of the massive regulatory and budgetary failures closer to home. Blaming the bankers does not amount to a policy.".....

......."Nowhere was this tendency greater than in Britain during what is now dubbed “the age of irresponsibility”. Gordon Brown, chancellor of the exchequer throughout the period, even claimed he had “abolished boom and bust”. The result was not just a disastrous failure to curb growing levels of personal debt in the UK, which had reached the highest level recorded in any large economy by last year. It also meant the Labour government ran the highest budget deficit of any leading western country. It is little wonder that last week the International Monetary Fund joined the European Commission in predicting that Britain would suffer a deeper recession than any of our competitors.

So our response must be both international and domestic."

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The day the Bank of England cut interest rates to 3pc is the day it lost its marbles


"Thanks to the wisdom of Gordon Brown, the UK has endured a decade of grossly irresponsible fiscal policy. This is the start of a period of zero-credibility in terms of monetary policy too.

We are kidding ourselves to say "inflation is dead". Fiscal policy and now monetary policy are wildly expansionary. Across the Western world, multi-billion dollar bail-outs are being funded by issuing debt and printing money - which will generate a new wave of inflation, making it even harder to escape the slump.

Suddenly, a consensus has sprung from nowhere that the Western world faces "deflation" - a situation where prices fall. Deflation is dangerous. Debts rise in real terms and price signals stop working."

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Setback for the 'Brown bounce' as new poll gives Conservatives 13-point lead

Daily Mail:

"However, today's poll underlines the dangers of going to the country next year, giving the Tories a comfortable lead on 43 per cent, against 30 for Labour and 18 per cent for the Liberal Democrats.

If repeated in a general election, the figures would give the Conservatives an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons, the Sunday Telegraph said.

In another boost for Mr Cameron, he was rated the British leader best-placed to build a new relationship with US president-elect Barack Obama, beating Mr Brown by 40 per cent to 35 per cent."

Friday, 7 November 2008

Britain will suffer more than other countries in global recession, says IMF

Daily Mail:
"Britain is spiralling into the deepest recession of any leading nation, the International Monetary Fund said last night. "
"But Britain's collapse will be particularly painful, dwarfing those in the U.S., Germany, France, Spain, Russia, Brazil and six other major economies."
"The IMF added that the banking mayhem could be getting worse, not better.
And in an alarming passage, it said that the credit crunch is showing signs of becoming 'impervious' to the vast sums of taxpayer money being spent to support the banking system."

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Brown model has collapsed

"A giant rate cut, the biggest for 27 years and much bigger proportionally than when rates were coming down in 1981 from above 12%. This is the MPC and the Bank putting up its hands and saying: ok, we’ve made a terrible hash of things and reacted too slowly in the last year, let’s cut rates as fast as we can in a desperate attempt to stave off the worst effects of recession. What a humiliation.It also means that one of the last remaining pillars of Gordon Brown’s rickety temple is collapsing."

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Gordon's Fibs

Daily Mail:

"Chancellor Alistair Darling has at last stated publicly that the Government is now committed to one of the most significant U-turns in British history.

He told an audience at Cass Business School in London on Thursday that the Brown administration is set to throw overboard its entire economic strategy."

"The British economy is facing one of its gravest crises, and Gordon Brown's economic framework has been shown up as a sham. It worked well during the good times, but imploded when put to the test."

"Brown has used three tricks to ensure his survival. First, he has turned to the oldest and cheapest gambit in the political lexicon: he has blamed Johnny Foreigner"

"The Prime Minister's second tactic is deception.

In a stroke that must have brought a gasp of admiration even from his notoriously untruthful predecessor Tony Blair, the Prime Minister now denies that he ever claimed to bring an end of 'boom and bust'.

He insists that he only meant 'Tory boom and bust'.

But it is his third response to the economic collapse that is truly remarkable.

Having abandoned his supposedly immutable economic framework (in April 2002 Gordon Brown declared that 'at all times - now and in the future - we will never compromise our commitment to meet our fiscal rules and disciplines'), he has replaced it with the exact opposite.

Instead of tight controls on borrowing, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor this week made clear that the Government will respond to the downturn with unlimited Government spending."

Brown debts are a 'ball and chain' on Britain, says IFS
Daily Mail:

"Gordon Brown's boast that Britain is well placed to weather the recession was dealt a serious blow last night.

A report by the influential Institute for Fiscal Studies claimed Government finances are in a far worse state than the Prime Minister admits.

It said the budget deficit is more than four times as high as under the Tories in the early 1990s."

Monday, 27 October 2008

Gordon Brown can't spend his way out of trouble

".....Gordon Brown's improvident, cretinous, wasteful, cynical, desperate, prodigal, incontinent response to the financial crisis."
" Labour has spent an additional £1.2 trillion since taking office. During 12 years of strong growth, low unemployment and high tax receipts, it none the less contrived to run the largest deficit in the world after Hungary, Pakistan and Egypt."
"Gordon Brown isn't borrowing because of some wrong-headed economic theory. He's borrowing because the money has run out. He has given up on winning the next election, and is happy to leave his successors with a country more indebted than at any time since... well, since the last Labour government."

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Lord Mandy, his murky friends and the debasing of our democracy

Daily Mail:

"The influence over the British political system by a relatively small and, in some cases, corrupt group of super-rich individuals is the single most poisonous legacy of Tony Blair's decade in government.

It is well-documented that he allowed the corporate elite to dictate government policy and buy access to senior ministers - including the prime minister himself.

Shamefully, Blair's priority was to put private greed above public duty."

'I'll be more careful about who my rich friends are' writes Mandelson as he admits he knew Russian oligarch for years

Daily Mail:
"It emerged yesterday that Lord Mandelson had been seen with Mr Deripaska at a Moscow restaurant in 2004, after being appointed EU trade commissioner but before taking up the post."
"Lord Mandelson is also facing scrutiny of his championing of the tiny Adriatic nation of Montenegro.
Aluminium tycoon Mr Deripaska has invested heavily in the country. Financier Mr Rothschild also has interests there."

'Worst financial crisis in human history': Bank boss's warning as pound suffers biggest fall for 37 years

Daily Mail:
Britain's economic output slid 0.5 per cent - more than twice the decline expected by the City;

• Markets tumbled around the world, with leading UK shares losing almost £50billion;

• Sterling had its worst-ever week against the dollar since 1971 and hit a record low against the euro;

• The oil cartel Opec cut production, a move likely to increase petrol prices up to 5p a litre;

• Experts warned that hedge funds are facing disaster, with billions likely to be wiped off savings and pension funds;

• Hundreds of jobs were axed in the insurance, cosmetics, haulage and textile industries.

Monday, 20 October 2008

So has the Brown bounce turned into the dead cat variety?

"If there's one group that doesn't seem to be buying into the notion that the bank-rescuing Gordon Brown is the new Messiah, it's the voters."
"Labour fails to win poll boost from banking crisis Guardian/ICM poll shows Labour and Tories unchanged since last month in spite of international praise for Gordon Brown"

Tories get tough on immigration

Daily Mail:
"The Tories today issued a new call for tougher curbs on immigration as they warned that more than 80 per cent of migrants to Britain since 1997 came from outside the EU."
"...... official figures showed that 2.3 million people have moved here since Labour came to power. Of these, 1.96 million, or 84 per cent, came from outside Europe, where migration can be controlled, while only 374,000, or 16 per cent, had come from the EU."

Public borrowing soars to highest level since 1946 after Darling pledges: 'I'll spend my way out of the recession'

Daily Mail:

"Public borrowing has soared to its highest level since Britain was being rebuilt after World War Two.The Treasury borrowed a massive £37.6billion between April and September, outstripping the entire total for 2007 in just six months, to hit its highest level since 1946.A record £8.1billion was borrowed in September alone as the credit crunch tightened its grip. Analysts had predicted it would be nearer £6billion.The data, coming 24 hours after Chancellor Alistair Darling pledged to spend his way out of a recession, proves the Government's targets for borrowing are now in tatters."

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Brown was not the author of the current plan

Daily Mail 18/10/08

"..But Brown was not the author of the current plan. The technical and crucial side of it was the responsibility of senior officials at the Bank of England. The Treasury lacks the required expertise.

After the emergence of the Brown plan, the clumsy political inserts have shown up all too plainly. Requiring the banks to forego paying out dividends to shareholders may please the public in its anti-bank fervour.

But it also means that shareholders, many of whom are company pension funds heavily reliant on dividends, have either sold their stock or are expected to do so.

This has been a principal cause of the plunge on the stock market in the wake of the rescue. Not very clever.

The other aspect which suggests that the Prime Minister has still not got the point lies in his announcement that, in return for Government help, banks must set out to lend on the same scale as they did in 2007."

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Gordon Brown's idea (not)

Gordon Brown's idea (not) - I urge everyone to have a look at this article in the New York Times:
Stopping a Financial Crisis, the Swedish Way ,

Now tell me Gordon Brown did not 'borrow' this idea and peddle a version of it to all.

Sky News Blog Comment:
" 100% right and the Brown master plan has been copied virtually exactly from the Swedish action when their property bubble burst and their own banks failed.

A slight but very important difference is that Brown and Darling still wish to somehow protect shareholders and that is hardly feasible. Sweden baldly told the bank shareholders that it was bad luck. One super wealthy family dug into their own pockets and recapitalised their own bank which was profitable again with one year. The rest went into public hands and were eventually sold by public flotation. The nett cost to Sweden was, in the long run, very tiny.

Here we have bank directors and executives scheming and screaming to retain some value in their own shareholdings, often acquired free as bonuses.

Time to be hard on these careless gamblers, not always on the innocent taxpayer who trusted this government."

Sky News Blog comment:
"The info on the ( web address and links is so relevant, problem is very few voters will visit this (sky news) blog. The question is how do you get through to the average man in the street many of which are undecided voters.
Unfortunately most are too worried about their immediate financial situation than how they got into it... Mass media has to be the answer but again how do you get them to put it out, especially as they are supposed to be politically unbiased..."

Monday, 13 October 2008

Greed that fuelled the crash : £37bn of our money bails out bankers... who last year took £17bn in bonuses

Daily Mail:
"But startling figures showed Mr Brown's bank bail out will mean the biggest increase in debt by any peacetime government, equivalent to £10,000 for every man, woman and child in the country or more than £40,000 for every family."

The day the House of Lords died of shame

Daily Mail:
"While Gordon was going through his 'we shall fight them in the hedge funds' routine, stage left his new best friend was slithering into the House of Lords."

"While Gordon is strutting his stuff, posing as the saviour of the world banking system, please, please, please don't forget the cynicism and contempt for decency which went into his rehabilitation of Milly Molly Mandy.
This administration is beyond venal. Far from being a model of rectitude, Brown is just another selfish, dishonest chancer on the make, with unparalleled disdain for any vestige of principle and propriety."

Thursday, 9 October 2008

As £170,000 a year is spent on an Afghan single mother... A story that sums up the howling insanity of modern Britain

Daily Mail:
"If ever a single news story summed up the howling insanity of Brown's Britain, this surely has to be it. It's difficult to decide on what precise level this lunacy is most outrageous."

"Gordon Brown has hosed them down with our hard-earned cash. Government spending has more than doubled in the past ten years.

And when it looked as if the money was going to run out, Gordon just went on a borrowing spree - which is one of the reasons the International Monetary Fund says Britain is uniquely ill-equipped to cope with the credit crunch.

Officially, there are another 800,000 on the public payroll under Labour, but add in those 'working' for quangos and you can bet it's well over a million."

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Labour heading for electoral disaster: poll

Yahoo News:
"A survey of marginal constituencies for the News of the World newspaper suggests that with current levels of support, Labour could lose 164 of its 349 MPs at the next election, and the Tories would have a 78-seat majority."

Arise, Lord Sleaze: Brown resurrects Peter Mandelson ... the disgraced Prince of Darkness

Says it all really....

Daily Mail: 4.10.08

Malignant, malevolent, mendacious - this creep is a cancer on British life

Daily Mail : 4.10.08

Trust me, this was the act of a madman. Brown came into office promising to draw a line under the spin, sleaze, dishonesty and division of the Blair years. It was always nonsense, but enough people fell for it. Yet he has now recalled into his Cabinet the living embodiment of all that is rotten and disreputable about New Labour."

"Putting this odious, discredited creep back into one of the great offices of state is an affront to any definition of decency. "

Ed Balls 'begged' PM not to appoint Mandelson : Yahoo News
"Schools secretary Ed Balls has been reported as begging the prime minister on Thursday evening not to reappoint Peter Mandelson to the cabinet and is said to be furious at the decision to bring him back."

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Rant in the North

While most of us are worried over the economic crisis and keeping a roof over our heads, a little ray of sunshine sent me a reminder on missing an important message from our 'diva in residence' up here. To correct that omission may I direct you to it here. It is from the pen of Judith O'Reilly, known for eloquence,wit and vivid word portraits of her Nothumbrian life - and the odd 'porkie pie'..... It must be supposed that this is the tone that passes between her and and her technically absent husband behind closed doors......

Caution: contains foul language,and is highly unsuitable for children to read. Worse still, Judith also threatens to write another book, let us hope it will be 'Two years in Tuscany'.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

US election fever, plus diva

"McCain is in trouble. He has started to pull undignified stunts, such as appearing on a segment of a popular cookery show stirring a pan of sauce and wearing an apron demanding you "Kiss the Candidate" (he reportedly spent $5,000 on a professional make-up artist to put his slap on)"

Wow, look at this...

McCain’s Suspension Bridge to Nowhere (New York Times)

"WHAT we learned last week is that the man who always puts his “country first” will take the country down with him if that’s what it takes to get to the White House."

Monday, 22 September 2008

Why Harry Potter author JK Rowling donated £1milllion to Labour

Daily Mail:
"The Harry Potter author - a close friend of Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah - claimed the Tories would leave 'poor and vulnerable' families worse off."

"Tory MP Ann Widdecombe, was one of those unimpressed. She said: 'JK Rowling has written so much fantasy it has entered her brain.

'She might as well have given the money to Lord Voldemort.

'At least the Prime Minister won't have to use the money to buy an invisibility cloak. He has already got one.' "

Comment - The money would have a better use if it went to a children's charity, not down the drain.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Gordon is not the person they want to lead the country..

"Gordon Brown has sacked the Labour Party's vice-chairman amid a growing revolt from Labour MPs who want to force a leadership election."

Monday, 8 September 2008


Website of Frank Field MP:
"..The new group’s Co-Chairmen are the former Labour and Conservative Ministers Frank Field MP and Nicholas Soames MP. This will be the first time in British political history that people from the two main political parties have come together to tackle this immensely sensitive and difficult issue."

Comment - Blair/Brown govt. is useless, thank goodness for someone having the guts to sort this mess out, 83 percent of the UK population want immigration controls.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

We must put a cap on the number of immigrants coming to Britain, says rebel Labour MP Frank Field

Daily Mail 7/09/08:

"Labour maverick Frank Field has joined forces with senior Tories to call for a cap on the number of immigrants who settle permanently in Britain.

The cap is expected to be the centrepiece of a report being published tomorrow at the launch of a new cross-party parliamentary group on balanced migration."

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Drivers face postcode lottery under pay-as-you-drive scheme

Telegraph 3/09/08 :
"The Government is considering using the electoral roll to set charges for drivers, which could be as much as £1.30 a mile."

"Trials of the "pay as you drive" system are due to get under way in 2010 and the details, including using the electoral roll, are set out in a consultation document sent out to those firms tendering for the contracts. "

Comment - can our Government, if you can call them that, sink any lower ?.

'The Labour party is heading for 'utter destruction,' says Charles Clarke in new attack on Brown

Daily Mail 3/09/08

Just does what it says on the tin. Makes you proud to be British.
Roll on the next General Election.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The Government is now making it up as it goes along

Telegraph :

The Government is now making it up as it goes along
"...The measures are not enough to ‘rescue' the housing market but will put another hole in Britain's economic reputation because the government now appears to be making it up as it goes along."

Gordon Browns cunning plan unravels?
"At the morning Lobby briefing, No. 10 has just been asked how the Government will find the £600 million needed to fund the tax cut. The answer, in summary: "Er, we dunno."

Friday, 29 August 2008

Recession and the disturbing lesson of history from a Prime Minister in denial

Daily Mail 29/08/08: .."Following this week's sobering news that economic growth in Britain has once again ground to a halt, and that the pound has suffered its worst monthly fall since we left the ERM in 1992, it can be stated with reasonable confidence that we are now entering a fourth economic recession, with all that means in terms of sheer, grinding human misery."
"He (Brown) must have declared hundreds if not thousands of times that, thanks to his policies, there would be 'no more boom and bust'."

"Of course we now know that he had done nothing of the sort. As the British people are about to discover to our cost, the economic cycle remains as potent, as unpredictable and potentially as destructive as ever.
The recession will claim many hundreds of thousands of jobs and send numerous businesses reeling towards bankruptcy before it is done."

Darling warns of economic crisis

BBC: "The UK is facing its worst economic crisis in 60 years, Chancellor Alistair Darling has admitted.

He told the Guardian newspaper that the economic downturn would be more "profound and long-lasting" than most people had feared.

Using strong language, Mr Darling acknowledged voters were angry with Labour's handling of the economy".....

"He said that voters were "pissed off" with Labour's handling of the economy, a key issue at the next election." (yes, on the BBC ! )

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Final pieces in jigsaw of doom drop into place

Telegraph 26/08/08 : "...or be forced to admit that Gordon Brown's stewardship has done for our economy what the crewmen on the bridge achieved for the Titanic."

"With disposable incomes falling for the first time since 1997 (mortgage payments, taxes, fuel costs and food bills are rising sharply), the Prime Minister's private prediction that the corner will soon be turned looks even less credible than his Chancellor's assertion that taxpayers will get all their money back from Northern Rock."

"Mr Brown's moment came and went last autumn, with the election that never was. From here, not only will he fail to achieve gold (victory at the next election), he's long odds against even completing the race."

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Immigration soars eight-fold through Labour's open door

Daily Mail 20/08/08 : "Between 1997 and 2006,the population increased by 1,196,000 as a direct result of immigration - the equivalent of of almost 330 extra people arriving each day. In the preceding decade of Conservative rule, from 1987 to 1996 the increase was only 141,000."

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Oh No, Not Another By-Election!

Sky News Blogs: "The SNP need a far smaller swing in Glenrothes than they did in Glasgow East to take the seat from Labour and hammer another nail into Gordon Brown's coffin lid."

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Worth a Look...

Telegraph:" an eagle-eyed Wikipedia editor to some pretty close similarities between McCain's address to the cameras yesterday and the wiki entry for Georgia."

TheAtlantic.Com : "Hillary Clinton’s campaign was undone by a clash of personalities more toxic than anyone imagined. E-mails and memos—published here for the first time—reveal the backstabbing and conflicting strategies that produced an epic meltdown".

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Diva in the North

Laughably the government states that the rate of inflation is at
4.4 percent,while food prices are at rising at 25 percent. Over
in the United States we have the rather good Paris Hilton getting
her own back on a certain Presidential hopeful John McCain.

Meanwhile our own 'Diva in the North' has launched her book in the
US. (See 14th July blog/book Review below) For our US readers:
Metro Centre, is the EU's biggest shopping centre,and for 'Diva'

read author who refers to herself in the third person....
Northumberland ? Have a look for yourselves. Its a tough choice
between crime-ridden central London and the most beautiful county
in England. The book in question? - Wife in the North.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Sleeping easy in our beds..

It's always good to know that our trusted government is
vigilant,and spending
our money wisely.If the public
don't like something then its always worth trying
a little

"...the Government has been funding television documentary series,
and monitoring the content before it is broadcast"
"... has spent almost £2 million to fund programmes that
are all but indistinguishable from regular shows"
"... has funded at least eight television series or individual
programmes in the past five years."

It's good to know our money is being well spent, rather
than on more
trained police. Mind how you go.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Freedom Of Information....

Due to poor drafting, the Freedom Of Information Act is a very effective tool for the public to find out what our politicians are up to. It actually works very well, as our chastened members of parliament have found out. Locally, it has its uses too:

Spot the difference -
On the 22nd November 2007, Mayor Harrison (yes him again) answered a question made by a resident as to the cost of his administration hiring DTW Advertising and Marketing Ltd. He publicly stated a figure of £150,000. Freedom of Information later revealed this figure to be way off the mark, at the time it was £238,945 and rising. At present the cost is rattling towards £500,000.

Mayor Harrison has also created a "Communications Unit" - that's a 'spin machine' to you and me - and that gobbles up £515,976 per year in wages alone. All this information and much more came from a single Freedom of Information request......

Friday, 25 July 2008

Gordon Brown to go ?

Telegraph: "Gordon Brown is being undermined by Cabinet ministers who are now publicly questioning his future as Prime Minister following Labour's disastrous defeat in the Glasgow East by-election."
"We cannot go any lower," the minister said, following Labour's disastrous defeat in the Glasgow East by-election, one of the biggest upsets in political history.
"We are at rock bottom. The evidence is there for all to see. We are not a one-nation party any more. We are now a no-nation party. We cannot win in Scotland, we cannot win in England, we cannot win in Wales.
"There is only one thing that can be done, and it's a change of leader."

Saturday, 19 July 2008

"little evidence yet of the regeneration scheme.."

There is no doubt about it. Had Mayor Harrison gone ahead with
the regeneration plans of the coast as laid out and costed by his predecessor, then locals and visitors would be looking at the finished product by now. As it is, there is a boarded up Leisure Pool and an empty Dome covered in scaffolding, promised to a ‘preferred developer’. To add to the suspense, the residents are not allowed to know the exact details of the proposed contract, well, not until its too late to have any say in the matter.

Referring to Whitley Bay, The Sunday Times of 13th July, puts it beyond doubt “….there is little evidence yet of the regeneration scheme promised for the area."

It is reasonable to suggest that the subject of the shambles that is the regeneration of the coast has become ‘the elephant in the room’. It is an undeniable fact that there is no regeneration. No amount of glossing over that fact will fool the residents. It didn’t fool the writer in The Sunday Times. Three years of announcements and residents have an empty Dome, an empty Playhouse and an empty Leisure Pool. In nine months time it is possible that Mayor Harrison may have to empty his desk too.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Speaks For Itself.....

"After crossing the Tyne, I pause to mourn in Whitley Bay. Not so long ago, this was to Newcastle what Brighton is to London, with notorious nightclubs and a funfair called the Spanish City. Now it’s what Gaza is to Jerusalem, the clubs boarded up, the seafront a litter-strewn no-go zone. But there is little evidence yet of the regeneration scheme promised for the area."

TimesOnline Article (View here), July 13th 2008,The Sunday Times.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Now the summer holidays are upon us.....

Monday, 14 July 2008

Now the summer holidays are upon us, and mindful that the true rate of inflation is 18% (Daily Mirror 14/07/08) and that the crumbling Spanish City Dome is not what it was, or will be in the near future; Playhouse closed along with the leisure pool. The Telegraph is extolling the virtues of Hadrians Wall, and there are bits of it in Wallsend (Segedunum), with Arbeia - a Roman Fort- in South Shields. They are in better condition than the seafront too.

Or... you can buy the book 'Wife in the North', by former Sunday Times journalist Judith O’Reilly (...her husband still works there) who makes their holiday home (?) near Alnmouth the family home and presents it as if it were on the Shetland Islands. Rubbing along on just £120k a year, and with a curious amount of spare time (quote:"My husband might have been missing in action but I do have help with the children".... "Five of us squished together (six if you count the nanny)" .....), Ms O'Reilly moans on about missing London (Islington),having to struggle, (with a nanny for the children! and pots of cash),and how lonely she is etc; But she finds solice in 'blogging' her thoughts,then shamelessly(?) exploits all her media contacts and bags a book deal of £70k (advance). Don't expect to recognise this as the Northumberland we know, it's all of 35miles from the Metro Centre. Another world you know.....

Even wealthy middle class mothers can struggle, can't they?

An addendum to the 14th July Blog.

How is it that a former investigative journalist such as Judith O'Reilly omits the significant role of her nanny who provides the childcare. Is it 'Faking it in the North' ? I enjoy a good yarn like anyone else, but I know first hand - and still do - the time consuming but rewarding work that is required by a parent in looking after a child. I don't have a nanny, but those that do should acknowledge the significant help they enjoy.

Letters to the Editor

Friday, 11 July 2008

Letters to the Editor
For a while now I have looked forward to reading the letters by Councillor Muriel Green in the local newspaper. Quite often they are, I suggest, difficult to read due in part to the healthy dollop of 'spin' that is often added. Considering that at present the good ship S.S.New Labour is so low in the polls that it could easily be a submarine,and would, I further suggest, be a danger to shipping, an eye for a lifebelt might be a wiser choice...A letter from Cllr Green in the News Guardian (3rd July) exudes,I suggest, the properties of a very long excuse, and considering the local election results clearly indicate that Mayor Harrison after May 2009 Mayoral elections could well be spending more time with his family, would it not be wiser to address the very real concerns of the residents?. We have for example, the spectre of Mayor Harrison wishing to privatise (?) what remains of local leisure facilities such as the lighthouse, to make 'savings' of £500,000. No mention of the mayor parting company with his legion of 'policy advisor's' (they cost the same amount in annual wages). No mention of the advertising and marketing company employed by Mayor Harrison's administration (nearly £500,000 spent on them so far). No mention of the endlessly delayed and virtually non-existent regeneration of the coast.

The residents of Cullercoats have now placed a petition before a full Council meeting for a proposed ban of alcohol on the beaches, resulting in a very luke warm reception to the proposed ban by a Council official aired on local television. If Cllr. Green, in her capacity as leader of the Labour Group, wishes to retain any credibility I suggest that it would be prudent for her to have a word with our financial guru Mayor, and get him to support this ban.

The inflation rate is ....?

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The inflation rate is ....?
Inflation (as per Gordon Browns Govt) officially hits 3% today. The truth is thats its nearly 20%. The papers say its "As bad as the 70's" (daily mail 17/06/08). The truth is out there, but you will not get it from this failing Labour Government. Perhaps they don't go to the shops or run a car....

Letters to the Editor

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Letters to the Editor
The smoke of the local elections has cleared; who would have guessed that Prime Minister Gordon Brown was Labour's very own John Major, but without his luck and charisma. The seismic political change cannot be underestimated, and you have to go back to 1995 for a comparison. Even the governments “spin doctors” could not deny the implosion of the New Labour project. With just 24 percent of the national vote, behind the Lib Dems on 25 percent, Gordon Brown admitted it was a very bad day for Labour. But wait, our very own elected Labour Mayor of North Tyneside was quoted in a local newspaper (on hearing the local election results) as saying “I think we have done extremely well”.With the clock now steadily ticking down to next years mayoral elections a reliance on “spin” is very unwise. It is reasonable that the residents will examine the achievements, if any, by this administration. It is right to ask if their money is best spent on a very expensive “communications unit”, and the current engagement of an advertising and marketing company by Mayor Harrison. Freedom of information reveals that the annual wages bill of the “communications unit”is £515,976. The cost of employing the advertising company now exceeds £400,000. The mayor has moved the council administration into rented accommodation at a cost of £3.7 million a year. Staggering sums of money are being spent with very little to show for it. The regeneration of the coast has become a joke, but remember the voters will always have the last laugh. Enough is enough.

The Day After...

Friday, 2 May 2008

Not on this planet award
The Labour Mayor of North Tyneside, Mr. John Harrison, on hearing the election news is quoted as saying "I think we have done extremely well".

Its official - Gordon Brown's a loser
BBC research suggests Labour won 24% of votes cast in England and Wales, behind the Tories on 44% and Lib Dems on 25%. The party suffered its worst council results in at least 40 years.

Is Gordon Brown a loser not a leader ?

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Is Gordon Brown a loser not a leader ?
When it is not a problem to prop up the Banks with a staggering 50 Billion pounds, and bail out Northern Rock to the tune of some 100 Billion pounds, why were nearly 50 Labour MPs forced to put forward an amendment to the Finance Bill to make Gordon Brown "rethink" the scrapping of the 10p tax band. This must be the U-turn of all u-turns.

Blatant Media Lie/Spin of the year (so far)

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Blatant Media Lie/Spin of the year (so far)
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the BBC and Guardian newspaper reported "..that a police study has found that a rise in crime in Britain was not fuelled by the surge in immigrants from eastern Europe". The Police study did not say this; '....the report in full bore no relation to the BBC or Guardian headline claims'. The Police Federation says that the BBC / Guardian story is 'bizarre and contrary to what our members are telling us'.Hang on, the Local Elections are nearly here.......

Gordon Brown's whopper of the week....

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Gordon Brown's whopper of the week....
Downing street says that inflation is :CPI annual inflation – the Government’s target measure – was 2.5 per cent in March, unchanged from February. But the Prime Minister also said "..Oil and gas prices are up60 percent,wheat and rice prices have doubled.." says an average shopping basket is up by 11 percent on a year ago. Gordon Brown's shopping basket for 2007 is here . "An average family spending £100 a week on groceries a year ago would now have to pay an extra £572 a year...." (Daily Mail 15/04/08)So the Whopper of the week award must go to Gordon Brown.What do you think the rate of inflation is when you shop or fill up your car with fuel ?

By popular request.....

Saturday, 12 April 2008

By popular request.....
Transcript of the imaginary speech given by Mayor Harrison to the members of the North Tyneside Council Tax Payers Terminus Club on the 1st January 2008…..
Is the microphone on?. Testing, testing. Ladies and gentlemen …can you hear me at the back?. Right, let me first thank you for inviting me along today, on this the first day of 2008. I get a lot of invitations to functions as Mayor, and this is my first of this year. That is speech, and of course the fine spread the club has laid on, so it’s my firstfree meal of the year (laughs). When I was elected in May 2005, many unkindly referred to me as a second choice Mayor, but I would like to state that I have never offered the residents a second choice. One of the first things I did when taking over from Mayor Linda was to look at the finances, and I was shocked. There it was, a financial ‘black hole’. So in the interests of the long-term stability of the CouncilI had to take swift action. It was clear there was no provision for the extra press officers, secretaries and policy advisors I had to hire. Not to mention the transition officers I had to employ to help the policy advisors.Lately, after the recent Mori poll showed that the satisfaction and approval rating by the residents in the Council had dropped from 75% under Mayor Linda to 46% under my administration, more firm action was required. My cabinet and I wasted no time in employing the services of a reputable advertising and marketing company, who conducted a survey into the work of my secretaries, press officers, policy advisors and transition officers, and how they are working closer with the communities. Well, Mayor Linda missed this one as well. The result of the consultation by our strategic partner – that’s what we call them – it was not the services the council is providing, it was ‘communications’. So we have hired a Head of Communications, and have given him a budget. As you can see, the financial ‘black hole’ I spotted when I took over was a lot bigger than I thought.Now, none of this comes cheap, and financial ‘black holes’ have to be paid for. So again, tough decisions have had to be made. Mayor Linda’s fully costed plans for the regeneration of the coast were not fully costed at all, it was clear as day, -no communications. Well it was a shock, but the decision had to be made to move into rented accommodation, not rubbish mind you, it’s going to cost £3.4 million a year in rent; it’s all to do with ‘image’ our strategic partner told us. So with the old town hall and other buildings surplus to requirements, and with a more modest regeneration of the coast, we should be able to plug financial ‘black hole’ Mayor Linda left us.What is this about ‘transition’ I hear many say, but again it’s that financial ‘black hole. We needed to make ‘efficiency savings’ and that had to be about reducing Council staff numbers. So we needed to employ the extra press officers, secretaries, policy advisors and transition officers to identify those we had to let go.Our new strategic partner, that’s the advertising and marketing firm, after the Mori poll results, told us that it was clear that the residents were not getting the message.One of the recommendations from the ad people was that, and let me read it to you, is that we must “Develop new ways of communicating with the audience using digital media.”. So after my speech I would be grateful if one of the audience here today can take my picture with this very nice digital camera I got for Christmas. It’s for the newspapers.(Mayor Harrison’s mobile phone rings, he takes short call, then continues)To close, I regret to say that I cannot take questions from the floor as my policy advisor was unable to come here tonight due to a subsequent engagement. So I would like to thank the Chair and committee for inviting me here, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a prosperous and merry new year. Goodnight.Note: Transcript by: Miss Rose Fort-Pop, reporter from the Waged Air Nuns weekly.(This is a spoof report)